Chapter 5: Julien Four
TL: cici, Editor: Lady Blue, QC: ISALEE
Synopsis: If the international society gave awards for being a playboy, Young Master Fei would have already received the Nobel Prize.
First Published on Ainushi.
That person was tall and slim. His black shirt was paired with crisp suit pants. He put his hands in his pocket and crossed both of his legs in front of him relaxingly. His long hair was draped over his shoulder. His eyes were like two bowls of smiles, doled out freely to anyone who gazed into them.
In her entire life, Lang Qiao had never seen a man who deliberately flirted with people at the entrance of Public Security Bureau before: “Vice Captain Tao, your friend?”
Tao Ran felt like he had a toothache.
Lang Qiao was very sharp, she immediately sensed something wrong in the atmosphere and asked doubtfully: “Is something wrong?”
Tao Ran was about to go over and talk to that man when Luo Wenzhou, who was silent until just now, suddenly stretched out one hand to grasp Tao Ran’s elbow. Raising his jaw towards that man, he said, “Fei Du, what are you doing here?”
Fei Du curled his legs, and lifted his eyelids to glance at him: “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know this area of land had the family name Luo (1).”
Luo Wenzhou squeezed his eyes shut, his expression blank. Fei Du looked at him. His expression was hard to tell if he was smiling or not. Lang Qiao, who had no knowledge about their relationships, felt killing intent from both of them, like they had swords out and bows drawn, for seemingly no reason that she could discern.
A short while later, Fei Du smiled like he was asking for a beating, then moved his eyes away first. He looked at Tao Ran: “Tao Ran, get in. If we don’t leave immediately Captain Luo will give me a ticket.”
Before Tao Ran was able to respond, Luo Wenzhou cut him off coldly: “Have I dismissed you? The two of you return to Bureau with me now. We need to report the progress to Director Zhang as soon as possible and have a case discussion meeting.”
Lang Qiao: “…”
You said “Let’s continue tomorrow” just now!
Fei Du sighed drowsily: “Having a boss in menopause is one of the tragedies in the world. Well then, Tao Elder Bro and this pretty policewoman Elder Sister, let’s go in my car. I’ll drive you back to the Bureau. You have had a long day already, you need to sit in a wider car so you can stretch your legs.”
“Oh, our police car is not wide enough for you? President Fei, then you’d better not experience our prisoner transport vehicle. You’ll not even be able to stretch out your hands.”
“Thank you for your reminder—Tao Ran, I’ve reserved seats in a western restaurant near the Bureau. Even if you need to work overtime, you need to have dinner first.”
“We public servants don’t go out for dinner. The murderer has not been caught yet. How can we have the audacity to go out for dinner?”
Lang Qiao still had not figured out whom she had offended.
Tao Ran was not able to interrupt them, and finally his patience ran out: “Alright. God, you two just never stop!”
Luo Wenzhou turned around and said to Lang Qiao with a sneer: “Follow up- Lang Big Eye, what are you looking at? If you want to look at little white face (2) then go home, don’t waste our time here!”
“Ze, beauty, why don’t you consider our company?” Fei Du faced Lang Qiao and tilted his head like an “arrogant president” (3). “It is a huge waste for you be to a policewoman, I will pay you five times the salary you have now.”
Tao Ran turned his head towards him and stared at him: “You too, please speak less.”
Fei Du glanced at him, nodded extremely elegantly, and of course, ignited a fire at the same time: “Okay, for your sake only.”
Luo Wenzhou: “Tao Ran, why are you so slow!”
Officer Tao could not afford to offend either of the two men, so he had no choice but roll his eyeballs towards the innocent night sky, and then he quickly caught up with Luo Wenzhou.
After he walked away for a few steps, he turned his head back subconsciously. As expected, he saw Fei Du standing there without moving, watching him leave. Seeing him turn around, Fei Du suddenly smiled as if he had expected this scene to occur. He stretched out two fingers, put them on his lips, and blew Tao Ran a kiss.
Tao Ran: “…”
If the international society gave awards for being a playboy, Young Master Fei would have already received the Nobel Prize.
Luo Wenzhou drove the police car as if he was driving Chang’e 3 (4). The car kept flying close to the ground, like pigs and dogs running, until they arrived at the Bureau. That cumbersome big SUV, however, always managed to hang on their backs easily.
Lang Qiao held her words for a long time, eventually she couldn’t help but ask: “Who is that little fresh (5)? He is really good at driving.”
Tao Ran turned his head and a veiled warning in his eyes, his expression telling her not to mention this unwelcome topic, but it was too late.
Luo Wenzhou saw Fei Du park his car at the entrance of the Bureau in the rear view mirror and called the Traffic Police group directly: “Someone is parking illegally at our entrance. Quickly go give him ticket. That guy has lots of money, you can charge him more money.”
A while later, a young traffic police called him back timidly: “Captain Luo, I gave him a ticket and I told him ‘200 yuan fine for illegal parking’.”
Luo Wenzhou: “What happened then?”
The young traffic police said: “Oh, he gave me 1000 yuan and said he would park for 800 yuan more.”
Luo Wenzhou: “…”
Lang Qiao glanced at him cautiously: “Leader, are we still going to have a meeting?”
Luo Wenzhou: “Of course!”
Nevertheless, it was impossible for Luo Wenzhou to stop Tao Ran from leaving forever. The result of their one day of work was very clear, and indeed there was no need for so many extra working hours.
Fei Du folded a small ship with the tickets. With the air conditioner operating, he leaned against the back of the driver’s seat comfortably. Putting an English song on repeat, he breathed in the scent of the vehicle-mounted fragrance. When the song was playing for the 8th time, Tao Ran came out from the Bureau.
Tao Ran was one of those kind of men who didn’t care much about his appearance. He carried a crossbody briefcase, his hair was in chaos, and it was hard to tell how long it had been since he last polished his leather shoes. There was a band-aid on his jaw and he look exhausted from the day’s activities. This was really not an image of a Helen of Troy. He walked towards Fei Du’s car and knocked on the window: “You still haven’t moved?”
Fei Du rolled down his window. The sound of the song “You Raise Me Up” broke out from the gap of the window, flew into the darkness, and dispersed mellifluously.
Tao Ran’s face changed somewhat when heard this song. However, before he could say anything, Fei Du turned off the sound as if he hadn’t noticed anything.
“A video of you trying to stop a fight was uploaded online, I saw it coincidently,” Fei Du got off the car, stretched out his hand and pointed to the band-aid on Tao Ran’s jaw, “I was worried about you. Are you okay?”
Tao Ran forced a smile- it was less tiring for his heart to deal with a group of ten people fighting than to deal with Luo Wenzhou and Fei Du.
“All right, I will avoid that menopause next time, is that okay?” Fei Du took over his bag. “Would you like to drive or to ride?”
“Excuse me, but that ‘menopause’ graduated the same year as me.” Tao Ran pulled the door and entered the driver’s seat. “Why did you change cars again?”
“You didn’t like the cars I had because they were too loud, didn’t you?” Fei Du walked around the car to the front passenger seat after the lack of attention. “I brought a new one. This one is cheap and dignified and will be dedicated to picking you up.”
Tao Ran’s hands, which were fastening his seat belt, stopped moving. Then he looked at Fei Du and said solemnly: “If I had a higher salary or less working hours, I would have already gotten married. I might even have had a kid old enough to walk.”
“I know.” Fei Du put his elbow on the car window and turned his head to smile at him. “Look at those starstruck kids, they keep wasting money and time all day. They don’t have any particular goals, they just want to be happy. Being good to you is also the best enjoyment in a day for me. You have loved me dearly for so many years already. Just take it as bearing with me.”
Tao Ran: “…”
“Seeing you makes me full already.” Tao Ran freed one of his hands, and pressed Fei Du’s head down. “Who’re you calling ‘Tao Ran’? Show some respect to our elder.”
“I…” a sentence filled with love was already in Fei Du’s mouth, but suddenly the tone of the words changed. “What the hell is this!”
The papers fell out since Officier Tao Ran was frugal with his money; his bag was very old; it looked like it was made in the Qing Dynasty. It was truly in a state of disrepair. The closed zipper often splitted off on its own accord. Fei Du didn’t pay much attention to it and he couldn’t even distinguish the head or tail of that broken bag. So, when the opening of the bag accidently faced the earth, a folder leaked out from inside and several photos dropped pell-mell onto his legs. The face of the corpse looked exceptionally hideous in the dim light.
Fei Du let out a gasp. If he was not restrained by his seatbelt, he might have jumped straight up. “Is this the picture of the dead man? Why does he look so terrible?”
“Those are important documents. Don’t mess around with them. Quickly put them back for me.”
Fei Du stiffened his neck, resolute to not look at the dead man in the eyes again: “No, No. I have blood phobia.”
“There is no blood.” Tao Ran sighed, his heart tired. “You are not even afraid of Luo Wenzhou, who can even depress ghosts. Why are you afraid of a dead man?”
Fei Du fumbled around for the photos and material, which were all over the place, and tucked them into the folder. Covering his eyes with one hand, he glanced at the photo cautiously and really didn’t see any blood. Then, he finally felt slightly relieved. He pinched the scattered material like he was removing mines and put them back where they belonged.
This arduous task made Fei Du quiet for five minutes. After a while, he suddenly asked: “Is it homicide?”
Tao Ran responded: “Em. But it is still under investigation, so I am not supposed to leak the details of the case.”
Fei Du responded with an “Oh”, and stopped asking as expected. He put the folder back, closed it again, lowered his head to check the broken zipper with the gleam, and said casually: “Pitiful.”
Tao Ran: “Em?”
“Visiting someone with a longing heart, but the other person unexpectedly prefered him dead.” Fei Du examined the zipper for a while, then started to play with it.
Tao Ran was puzzled: “How do you know that?”
“Em.” said Fei Du, “You have taken a picture of the dead person’s coat haven’t you? It still has the price tag on it.”
“We investigated that coat. It was bought in a shop near there. Both the shopkeeper and the monitoring system proved that it was the dead himself who bought the coat.”
“I am not saying it was the murderer who put it on the corpse. Do people need to give a coat to the dead after killing them?” Fei Du laughed. “He wore a coat without cutting off its tags, probably because the coat was comparatively more pricey than what he could afford, but he needed to wear it on some occasions. Therefore he planned to wear it once and before returning it. This is what some poor students who have just started to go for interviews do- Is he left-handed?”
Tao Ran didn’t respond immediately. Since he had been to He Zhongyi’s rental room once, he quickly reviewed the positions of everything and said: “No.”
Fei Du shuddered: “His left shoe has significantly more signs of wear and tear- There are people whose dominant hand and dominant foot are not at the same side. However, I think it is more probable that the pair of shoes he wore was borrowed.”
Nevertheless, according to the testimony of that campus security guard, the person He Zhongyi met before his death was probably a male acquaintance, most likely from the same county, or a relative- otherwise they would not speak the same dialect.
They arrived at their destination right at that moment. Tao Ran parked the car: “You mean… the dead deliberately dressed up before his death, so it is highly probable that he met a woman?”
“Not sure. Although he gave some thought to borrow the coat and the shoes, but his attire was rather reserved and formal. I think he looked like he was going for an interview, or meeting someone he revered. If he was really meeting a girl, it’s probable that this was the first time they were meeting.” Fei Du opened and closed the zipper of the old briefcase. He then dragged it slightly, and as expected, it didn’t open. He passed the briefcase to Tao Ran. “The zipper head was loose. Re-tightened it for you- If I was coming out to meet you, for example, I would not wear a three-piece suit. I would merely wear a bit of perfume.”
Fei Du’s pupils were not pure black. The color was lighter, it made his pupils seem brighter in the dark. When he looked at somebody, his eyes always looked like they had something to say, making people lose themselves in his eyes.
Unfortunately, Vice Captain Tao was somewhat blind.
He just thought about Fei Du’s words, concentrated for a while, and then asked as if he was onto something: “Then, what purpose do you think the murderer could have for attaching a slip of paper on a person’s forehead after killing him?”
Fei Du moved his eyes away uninterestedly: “Oh, probably to prevent him from turning into a jiangshi (6).”
Tao Ran: “…”
“It could also be the murderer regretted killing him, and subconsciously took the action that shows esteem and sadness to the dead.”
Tao Ran thought for a while, and continued to ask: “If that was not covering the whole face? Like that was only a paper strip attached to the hair of the dead, which only covered the area around his forehead and eyes.”
“Forehead? Elders disciplining children, powerful people bullying weak people, punishing pets… people hit forehead when doing all this- And the paper could also probably stand for a label, something shops use for selling things. What was written on the paper strip?”
Fei Du lifted his eyebrows. They were long enough to nearly incline into his temples, which gave him a cool, handsome look.
“Have you found any clues?”
“No, one character is too few. Over-interpretation will easily mislead people.” Fei Du smiled. “Tao Ran, you are home.”
Tao Ran came back to himself and finally realized he had discussed too much with Fei Du. He pushed open the door of the car, but as he was about to leave, he suddenly thought of something and turned his head back and asked: “Did you have dinner? Go up and wait for a while, let me make you a bowl of huntun.”
Fei Du was taken aback obviously, his eyes slid over for an instant: “You’re inviting me inside your home? Aren’t you afraid your pace is too quick?”
Although he purposely said something ambiguous, he stayed in the car without moving.
“If you don’t want to come just say you don’t want to come. Anyway you are not short of this mouthful of huntun.” Tao Ran held the door of the car, slightly bent towards Fei Du. “Stretch out your hand.”
Fei Du stretched out a hand in doubt. Tao Ran pulled out a handful of things and tucked them in his palm: “When you want to immerse in the sea, your best choice is to dress up and go swimming yourself, not holding a life buoy firmly and soaking your feet- You don’t really want to make me gay. Don’t be mischievous any more. Your bro is home. Drive more slowly when you go back.”
Fei Du silently watched him walk into the somewhat old tube-shaped apartment, then lowered his head to look at what he got from Tao Ran. That was the card he put among the flowers he had given to Tao Ran in the morning. The smell of perfume was not yet totally dispersed, and there was also a handful of toffee.
The toffee was from a very old brand, which he had not seen in the market for several years already. Fei Du thought that manufacturer had gone bankrupt. He had no idea from where Tao Ran had found them…
They were probably just expired sugar packets. There was no manufacture date on the wrapper.
Fei Du opened one and ate it-it was old, cheap, tasted rough and sticky, however it was good that it was sweet enough.
He turned on the audio, put the song that Tao Ran frowned at when heard it on repeat, and sat there quietly for a while.
Only after he finished the handful of sugar did he stand up and move to the driver’s seat. Right when he moved, he found one more photo in the car.
That was a very small ID photo, which had dropped into the gap between the seats; therefore he didn’t see it when he packed up.
Fei Du turned on the reading light and picked up the ID photo of the dead.
The man in the photo looked quite different from the hideous corpse in the other photo he saw just now. This time, he clearly saw the dead’s appearance.
Fei Du stared at the scar in the shape of crescent moon at the corner of the young man’s forehead and slowly frowned.
(1) This area of of land has a family name Luo: This area is owned by someone whose family name is Luo.
(2) Little white face: Derogatory term. Generally mean a man who is financially depend on his lover or spouse. Here, instead, it means a man who is very pretty in appearance so that he is a bit feminine.
(3) Arrogant president: A kind of popular protagonist in certain modern romance novel. They are generally tall, rich and arrogant.
(4) Chang’e 3: A lunar rover
(5) Little Fresh: Slang. Young boy.
(6) jiangshi: A type of reanimated corpse in Chinese legends and folklore.